The Worlds Of The Last Man Essay

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In the worlds of The Last Man by Marry Shelly and A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, the lives of the survivors of the apocalypse are thrown into chaos. In The Last Man, the people of England are driven out of their native home by the plague and forced into the desolate wasteland that is Europe. In A Handmaid’s Tale, Gilead society has torn Offred away from her past life and severed all her connections to it. In these troubled times, characters turn to religion either by force or their own free will. In apocalyptic scenarios in literature, the fragmentation of memories make the victims of the event susceptible to the controlling influence of religion. Over the course of the novel, Offred continuously reminds the reader of stories of what she was taught by the Aunts at the Red Center. Offred recalls her old life “I think about laundromats. What I wore to them: shorts, jeans, jogging pants. What I put into them: my own clothes, my own soap, my own money, money I had earned myself. I think about having such control. Now we walk along the same street, in red pairs, and no man shouts obscenities at us, speaks to us, touches us. No one whistles. There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it” (Atwood 24). Here, Offred remembers the objects of her previous life. However, these reminders of the past are not presented in a positive light.
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